Hazard studies (HAZOP and others)


A Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) study is a systematic method that is mainly used within process technology to identify possible hazards in a process. In a HAZOP study, multidisciplinary teams conduct detailed research into the process objectives of new and existing facilities. For example, they determine the risk profile of process deviations or malfunctions of sub-installations, and the effects they can have on the facility as a whole.

The team carrying out the study must be broadly composed of competent people. This alone guarantees that all causes of possible process deviations can be identified. For an oil and gas project, such a core team could consist of process technologists, experts in instrumentation, machinery, project engineering and operations. For some parts of the work, it is recommended to also engage environmental specialists and staff of the Health Safety Executive.


The ISO 31000 (in the 2018 version) standard emphasises that risk management should be tailored to the nature of the business, and support continuous improvement. It is a crucial part of decision-making, as it helps decision-makers make informed choices, prioritise, and compare alternative solutions.

Risk assessment is the core element of the risk management process. Other key elements include:

  • Determining the scope and basis of the analysis, limitations and assumptions
  • Building an appropriate HAZOP team
  • Communicating with stakeholders
  • Continuous monitoring to ensure assumptions remain valid and controls effective

Therefore, a HAZOP analysis is a vital part of risk management and plays a crucial role in ensuring maximum performance is delivered throughout the process, maintained and continuously improved.

The management of information, timely analysis and actions are important factors in these data-driven times. In order to achieve the intended results, it is imperative that the risk assessment process, such as a HAZOP study, is effective. This allows organisations to achieve optimal safety and operational performance.

The HAZOP process is extensive and complex. For a successful outcome, it is very important that

  • all stakeholders are involved
  • the study includes the entire process
  • the results are effectively reported and presented
  • and that communication is good

By using the right HAZOP techniques, organisations can continuously maximize the HAZOP's added value, ensuring the decision-making process is more effectively communicated and implemented. Although we mainly discussed HAZOP here, the same techniques can be used in similar studies, such as HAZID (Hazard Identification) and FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis).

Bureau Veritas Riskcontrol

Our approach is characterized by the use of special teams of competent specialists, who focus on specific projects or parts thereof. We avail over a wide range of expertise and practical experience, both at home and abroad, that we use flexibly, fully tailored to your needs.


For additional information about our services and the possibilities, please call us on +31 88 450 55 00.